Better late then never: ‘A path forward’ for Ga. transit funding

No more flying pigs?

Georgia’s Legislature has suffered a failure to launch on the issue of public transportation for years, but that may finally be changing. A legislative study committee report released last month recommends that the state provide operating funds to local transit agencies all across Georgia – including MARTA.

Yes, it’s only a study committee and waaay to early to start celebrating. But this promising and long overdue development has implications that are too important for even the most cynical among us (me) to dismiss. While flying pigs exist only in fantasy, a serious discussion about dedicated transit funding in Georgia is already taking flight.

Q & A with State Rep. Allen Peake, Georgia’s “Dean” of Medical Marijuana

Republican lawmaker Allen Peake of Macon has emerged as Georgia’s unlikely “dean” of medical marijuana. Peake strongly opposes legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But he’s a staunch champion in the fight to provide legal access for Georgians suffering with chronic illnesses who benefit from cannabis oil, a form of marijuana that offers relief without getting users high. In the first installment of the I-420 Georgia travelogue series, I interviewed Peake at his office in Bibb County. Peake spoke openly about the challenges that advocates face in expanding Georgia’s existing medical marijuana law, and the unusual (and illegal) steps he’s taking to aid patients in the meantime.

New “I-420” columns highlight marijuana reform efforts

And so it begins.

After quitting my good government job four months ago, I’ve been on a journey without a road map or any guarantee that I’ll reach the final destination in one piece. I confess this adventure seems a little bit nuts. Scary too.

But, throwing caution (and what’s left of my 401K) to the wind, I’m planning a regular feature on SaportaReport called “I-420 Georgia.” The goal is simple: to create a rolling travelogue highlighting the people, places and businesses being impacted by Georgia’s existing marijuana laws.

CEO-Elect Michael Thurmond offers “new vision” for DeKalb County

For local voters suffering from PESD – Post-Election Stress Disorder – DeKalb County CEO-elect Michael Thurmond provided just what the doctor ordered.

Flush from an election night victory, Thurmond delivered a thoughtful and inspiring speech last Thursday that hinted at his “new vision” for repairing the county long beset by racial divisiveness, bureaucratic mismanagement and political scandal.

Major Journo Fail: Why the “60 Minutes” story on Marijuana was Half-Baked

  Diehards still watching broadcast TV may remember CBS as the “Tiffany Network,”  and the venerable “60 Minutes” newsmag as its crown jewel. Sadly, the show’s pre-election curtain-raiser about historic votes to legalize marijuana felt more like shopping for cubic zirconia knockoffs at the strip mall. The “Pot Vote” story started out O.K. with an intro from Dr. […]

With MARTA, ownership has its privileges and responsibilities

Quick question: When’s the last time you washed a rental car? If the answer is “never,” you’re hardly alone. The timeworn adage that most people take better care of physical assets that they own outright has been confirmed by scientific research and just plain common sense.

However, the innate human impulse to be a good custodian of one’s possessions is attenuated (or disappears) when it comes to public goods such as our transit infrastructure, including MARTA.

Head of the class? What Georgia can learn about using marijuana to improve education

The reception I’ve received from well-wishers welcoming me back to TSR (Uh-huh, that’s what I’m calling the SaportaReport from now on) has been flattering, as well as humbling. My sincere thanks to everyone who has posted a message on this website, texted, tweeted, emailed or called me with their congratulations on my admittedly wayward return to journalism. I truly appreciate your support and I’ll do my best not to screw this up.

While all that goodwill is still fresh on my mind, I wanted to highlight the comments of Shirley Franklin who is not only the former Mayor of Atlanta, but also a whip-smart policy wonk and all-around good egg.

Lyle Harris is coming back home to SaportaReport

Who says you can’t go home again?

Nearly eight years ago, I briefly joined the ranks of SaportaReport shortly after its debut. Following some career diversions that took me in a very different direction (namely, flakking for MARTA) I’m returning as a regular columnist and sometime-editor for SaportaReport, which has become one of the best, most influential newsblogs covering our region.